Lebanon PM Diab Wants To Crack Down On Tripoli Protesters, But Also Have 50,000 Families Fed

Yara Asmar/Dalati Nohra

50,000 impoverished families in Tripoli will be given food aid, the office of caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab issued in a statement, without mentioning a specific time for the aid distribution.

According to the state-run National News Agency, during a phone call with the Mufti of Tripoli Sheikh Mohammad Imam, Diab also stated that the assaults on the Serail, the Sharia Court, and the municipality building are a direct attack on the state and its dignity.

“All those who participated in those attacks will be arrested and referred to the judiciary to be held accountable,” Diab said, as quoted by NNA.

“No one will be able to obliterate the city of Tripoli’s heritage and history, and the criminals who torched the municipality of Tripoli will be held accountable,” he added during another phone call with the mayor of Tripoli, Riad Yamak.

The press office of the caretaker prime minister said in a statement that Diab informed Sheikh Imam and Yamak that he has instructed the Higher Relief Commission “to act urgently by conducting a survey of the damage, cleaning up, and restoring the municipality building, through the state, donors, or benefactors.”

Diab noted that the current “challenge” is to detail all those who were directly involved in the protests and hold them accountable.

On Friday, the authorities arrested five individuals for alleged involvement in the torching of Tripoli’s municipal building. That was followed on Saturday by Tripolitans calling on the army to release a 17-year-old boy whom they claim “was wrongly arrested.”

Meanwhile, movements of solidarity with the people of Tripoli are witnessed in various parts of Lebanon, and the protests continue against dire living conditions, which have been exacerbated by lockdowns the authorities have imposed with no economic safety net. 

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